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#17 Virginia Tech Softball Wins Series at UVA

Cameron Fagan Kelsey Bennett VT Longwood 2023 From VT
Connor Mardian | @ConnorMardian10
Softball Beat Reporter

The 17th-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies faced some stiff competition from rivals UVA this past weekend, but the Hokies were able to go on the road and pick up a big series victory. Here's a look at how it all played out.

Game 1

Despite the recent typical slow starts that became synonymous with the Hokies, the bats were flying early in the first. After a Kelsey Brown single and a walked Cameron Fagan, Bre Peck stepped up and hit the first of many home runs of the night giving the Hokies an early 3-0 lead.

However, the Cavaliers would immediately respond. Freshman Jade Hylton trimmed the Hokies' lead to 3-1 quickly sending Emma Lemley's first pitch of the night over the fence for a solo home run.

Tech fired back quickly though in the second inning as Cameron Fagan had her first RBI of the night with a single to left field that brought home Maija Louko from second to extend the Hokies' lead to 4-1. On the mound, Emma Lemley was able to calm things down for the next 3 innings holding UVA to only 3 baserunners and 0 runs during the 2nd to 4th innings.

Tech's offense also cooled off some in the 3rd and 4th innings before Kelsey Bennett hit a solo home run in the fifth inning to give the Hokies a four-run lead.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Cavaliers flipped the switch and raked in four runs to even the score at five. The first run was conceded due to what was marked down as a fielding error with Hylton coming home. Tori Gilbert would make the Hokie' lead vanish as her three-run home run tied the game at 5.

Both pitching staffs quelled the offenses in the sixth and seventh innings to force extras where the bats took over.

Bre Peck, who finished the night with five RBIs, earned her last two in the eighth as her double down the infield line scored both Fagan and Brown. Jayme Bailey’s single then scored Peck. Bennett then added another insurance run with one out as her sac fly out to center allowed Bailey to extend the Hokies lead to four.

Bennett's sac fly may not have seemed significant at the time, but it would prove to be decisive in the end.

The Hoos' bats had a strong response for the Hokies as Shelby Barbee’s two-out, three-run home run cut the Tech lead to just one. However, Lemley was able to close things out from there getting Katie Goldberg to ground out after a single and steal from Hylton had her in scoring position.

Game 2

Game two produced another extra innings thriller with the Hokies not having as much luck this time.

UVA's Leah Boggs would open the scoring in the second inning with a RBI single to give the Cavaliers the lead before Shelby Barbee extended the lead to 2-0 with a RBI sac fly in the third.

The Hokies were able to halve the lead in the fourth inning as Rachel Castine’s single brought in the previously walked Emma Ritter.

However, at the bottom of the fifth, the Hoos scored three more runs, thanks to a poor run of plays with 1 run coming home on a wild pitch with the bases loaded and then an error bringing in the other two runs.

At the top of the seventh, things looked dire for the Hokies. With one out on and runners on all three, Jayme Bailey was once again given the task of pulling Tech out of a massive hole. With the count reading 1-2, Bailey took a chance and swung for the fences. Her hit well cleared the fences, and in a blink of an eye, the game was tied at five a piece thanks to her grand slam.

Unfortunately, that is where the momentum for the Hokies stopped, as Jade Hylton’s double and an error from third spelled a walk-off unearned run for the Cavaliers to win 6-5.

Game 3

Game three found the back-and-forth momentum make a final swing in the way of the Hokies as Virginia Tech defeated UVA 7-0.

Emma Lemley was on the mound for her second start of the weekend with this one going much better. She put together a dominant complete game shutout allowing only 2 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5.

Meanwhile, Tech's bats took a little longer to get going but hit their stride in the fourth inning. Madison Henson got the Hokies on the board with an RBI sac fly with no outs before Tech got a pair of big two-out hits via a Kelsey Brown RBI double followed by a Cam Fagan RBI single.

In the top of the fifth frame, the Hokies found their home run hitting identity again as Kylie Aldridge’s three-run home run doubled the Hokies lead to 6.

Kelsey Bennett would send another home run out of the park in the seventh to widen the lead to the final 7-0 margin giving the Hokies a big series-clinching victory in what was a dominant performance in all facets.

Up next for the Hokies is #5 Tennessee in a Tuesday evening (6pm) showdown at Tech Softball Park.

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